Shaker is the name commonly known for the United Society of Believers in Christ’s Second Appearing, initially known as “Shaking Quakers” due to their lively movements while at worship. Founded in England in 1770 by Ann Lee, the Shakers developed furniture that reflected their beliefs of simplicity, utility and honesty.

In 1774, nine Shakers moved to the US and eventually became one of the most successful utopian communities in American history. They were self sufficient; growing their food, building their homes and making their own tools and furniture.

The furniture they made was purely functional and minimalist in design, much like a lot of the contemporary furniture we see today. This minimalism came from their rejection of fussy, ornate decoration common in the furniture of the day.

In the 1860s the Shakers developed what is now an iconic piece of furniture – the ladder back chair with woven seat. These were quick and easy to make, and have influenced designers and makers ever since, particularly the postwar Danish furniture designers who went on to influence future generations of designers worldwide.

Among other recognisable furniture they produced are the Shaker rocking chair, tables and cabinets.

Charlie Caffyn Furniture design and make contemporary, bespoke furniture. See the range by visiting the website at www.charliecaffynfurniture.com.